The Farnam family first settled in Connecticut in the person of Henry Farnam (1803-1883). Farnam engaged in the engineering and building of canals and railroads in Connecticut, and supervised the construction of the Chicago and Rock Island Railroad and the Missouri and Mississippi Valley Railroad in the Midwest. His eldest son, Henry Walcott Farnam (1853-1933) was educated at Yale University (A.B., 1874; A.M., 1875) and in Germany. He taught political economy and economics at Yale, served on many national boards and commissions, authored numerous articles and books, chaired the Yale Review (1892-1911), and was an active national reformer in the areas of civil service, prohibition, and tobacco use. He also supported many educational institutions, Indian missionaries, and charitable organizations in the United States. William Whitman Farnam (1844-1929), also a son of Henry Farnam, studied at Yale (B.A., 1866), in Germany, and received his law degree from Columbia in 1871. He served as trustee (1885-1891) and treasurer (1888-1899) of Yale University, and as a member of the New Haven Commission of Public Parks (1880-1914).
WILLIAM WHITMAN FARNAM.
Second son of Henry and Ann Sophia Whitman Farnam, was born at New Haven, Conn., April 6, 1844.
His college societies were Linonia, Kappa Sigma Epsilon, Alpha Sigma Phi, Delta Kappa Epsilon and Skull and Bones. He was one of the Spoon Committee and a member of the Varuna Boat Club.
After graduation he spent three years in Europe; studied at the Universities of Berlin and Heidelberg, receiving from the latter degree of J.U.D. He entered Columbia College Law School in 1869 and was graduated with degree of LL.B. in 1871. He began practice in 1873 in New Haven. He was trustee of Yale University from 1885 to 1891; treasurer of Yale University from 1888 to 1899, and director of National New Haven Bank from 1888 to 1900.
He was a member of the New Haven Commission of Public Parks from 1880 to 1914, serving as its vice-president and president; first president of the Connecticut Branch of the American National Red Cross, and for many years a member of the Central Committee of the National Organization. He is a trustee of the Sheffield Scientific School, and a trustee of the Peabody Museum.
He married Miss Susan Frances Strong, June 4; 1873, youngest daughter of late General William K. Strong of New York city.
Residence, 335 Prospect Street, New Haven, Conn. Mrs. Farnam died suddenly on May 7, 1917, at her home in New Haven.
Mrs. William W. Farnam, whose recent death has caused deep regret and sorrow to all who knew her, deserves special tribute in this record.
Her relations to the Class were unique. All the reunions in later years have been held at her home; and one of the delightful features of these occasions was the half hour before dinner when Mrs. Farnam, with her husband, received the Class. The cordial welcome and the gracious courtesy with which she received all her guests added greatly to the pleasure of these meetings. Many of the class will also recall delightful visits made to the Farnams at their home in New Haven and also in Winter Park, Florida.
Mrs. Farnam had very unusual social aptitudes. For many years she had taken a very active part in all Yale social functions. Many of the most distinguished visitors to New Haven have been entertained at her home, and the unfailing grace and tact with which she discharged such hospitable duties have been universally recognized.
Her loss will be deeply deplored by a large circle of friends, and particularly by the members of the Class of 1866, by whom it will be felt as a personal sorrow.
Yale College Class of 1866, V. 6
From the guide to the Farnam family papers, 1721-1941, (Manuscripts and Archives)
|creatorOf||Farnam family papers, 1721-2002 (inclusive), 1850-1937 (bulk).||Yale University Library|
|Place Name||Admin Code||Country|
|New Haven (Conn.)|